. hello oims james tengan in tokyo. nhk "newsline" comes to you live from our studios. we start off with a quick look at the top stories for this hour. the ageing public opinion, washington is considering a possible obama visit to hiroshima while he's at japan's g7 summit in may. it's been 20 years, an
agreement between tokyo and washington to return a marine base to japan is far from settled. covering all the angles. a japanese paints maker is back in iran thanks to careful risk management and lots of patience. washington is expected to gauge public opinion before deciding whether president barack obama will visit hiroshima in may. obama will be in japan for the g7 summit, his secretary of state made a historic visit to the city. john kerry was with his g7 counterparts on monday when they visited peace memorial park, he became the first secretary of state to visit the site where his country dropped its atomic bomb in 1945. a state department spokesperson highlighted the significance of kerry's visit. >> it underscored our need to make every effort to diminish or reduce the number of nuclear weapons in the world and pursue peace and diplomatic solutions
to problems. >> officials at the white house told nhk that they're discussing many factors around the possibility of an obama trip to hiroshima, but they added there are concerns that republicans may criticize the visit by saying it could look like an apology for the atomic bombings. many americans view the bombings at the end of world war ii as necessary to avoid further massive american casualties. >> japan's foreigngn minister refrained from comments on the visit. >> translator: it's important for world leaders to see the devastation of the atomic bombing in creating momentum for a world without nuclear arms. >> kishida said he hopes to encourage more world leaders to visit hiroshima. now people in hiroshima welcomed the first visit by g7
visitors bust some atomic bomb survivors say they were disappointed they didn't get to share their stories with foreign media. city officials organized three briefings for survivors to deliver firsthand accounts of their experiences. but only reporters from japanese media outlets attended. this man now 84 years old shared his story. >> translator: i had high expectations, because i thought it was a great opportunity to share the reality of the suffering caused by the atomic bombing with the world. but unfortunately, no one came. >> the officials say it was a scheduling issue, as some sessions conflicted with the ministers' meetings. they say the experience will help them better prepare an atomic bomb exhibit for the g7 summit next month in central japan. 20 years ago, japan and the u.s. agreed to move a u.s. marine base in okinawa.
but the question of where has been a focus of fierce debate between the prefecture and tokyo. nhk world reports on the issue. >> reporter: in 1996, in the face of growing opposition of u.s. in okinawa, japan and the u.s. made an announcement -- >> translator: the site of marine corps will be returned to japan in five to seven years. >> reporter: the year before, the air base movement was triggered by a rape of a 12-year-old girl by three u.s. military personnel. residents have been afraid that an accident around the base could occur again, like it did in 2004. those fears haven't gone away. the base is located in a densely populated area of this city. schools, kindergartens and hospitals are located nearby.
the people of okinawa want the base gone as soon as possible. there's one condition in the agreement that people in okinawa fiercely opposed. japanese and american governments want to move it to a new location within the prefecture. the area off the coast of nago city was agreed to by both countries. in 2013 the previous okinawa governor accepted the government's plan for nonreclamation work. a year later, they elected a new governor who pledged to halt any new base. part of the backlash is also because around 70% of u.s. military facilities in the country are in okinawa. people say they shoulder an unfair burden of hosting the bases. leading up to the anniversary, people in okinawa demanded action. >> translator: i don't understand why so many bases are in okinawa, things haven't changed much over the past 20 years.
>> reporter: ten other american military facilities were also supposed to be returned but so far only 8% of the designated land has. the japanese government has struggled to proceed with the plan. >> translator: there remains no other alternative than that of the relocation of the futenma base to okinawa. the outstanding issue over the 20 years. >> reporter: and the u.s. government says it wants it to go ahead. >> we remain very much engage with the japanese government. >> reporter: but the governor wants a new deal. one that will end d operations the base within five years without relocating it to nago. >> translator: the japanese government should lose the notion that it's the only alternative and work quickly to return the futenma land.
we also want recognition the burden for national security will be shared by the whole nation. >> reporter: the central government insists that it needs the cooperation of okinawa government if operations in futenma are to end. talks between the two sides are scheduled for later this week, but both are holding their ground and the prospect of the stalemate ending soon seems slim. >> south korean officials say kim jong-un's grip is loosening. officials from pyongyang defected to the south last year. one of the defectors was a senior spy with the military intelligence unit. the other was a diplomat who had been stationed in africa. they privately sought asylum in
south korea. >> translator: it can be seen as an example of unusual moments among the north's elite. >> south korea's news agency reports the spy is the highest ranking official to defect. it cause a source as saying the defector die voulged details of the bureau's operations against south korea. earlier our eye on asian anchor spoke with senior correspondent on the defections. >> reporter: now, we have just said two very high level north korean officials have defected to the south. what's behind these defections? >> it's a very complex issue, but i think we can say that there's fears to demonstrate loyalty to kim jong-un.
kim has reshuffled his subordinates so there appears to be a lot of anxiety. people who lose favor with kim face being disloyal. some flee from the country to avoid imprisonment or execution. another issue is money. kim's regime demands payment from north koreans ovoverseas. anyone who doesn't or can't pay comes under suspicion. the payments are made by everyone from diplomats to workers. last thursday a group of 13 north koreans working at a restaurant in china defected to south korea. officials in seoul said they were having trouble meeting north korea's demands for payment. and a former south korean official told me that kim jong-un is demanding more and more money from people overseas.
he needs funds for a variety of things. >> reporter: now south korean officials have suggested that the recent defections could be signs of cracks in kim's leadership but what are you thoughts about that? >> it's not clear defections are a sign of instability in the regime but north korean nationals have been fleeing the country since 1990, and most experts believe kim is trying to keep control. we should think about the timing of the announcement by south korea. voters are scheduled to take part in national elections this wednesday. the governmenent may have hopedo profit somehow by announcing the news close to that event. one thing we'll be waiting to hear is what south korea learns from the intelligence officer.
he could provide new insights into one of the world's most secretive countries. you're watching nhk "newsline". finance leaders from 20 major economies want to crackdown on a practice that's costs countries billions of dollars. gene otani that's the details along with other top business headlines. finance ministers and central bank governors from the group of 20 nations will talk about targeting tax evasion when they meet this week. they are one pressure to do more following revelations that some of the world's richest and most powerful people have been hiding their wealth in offshore havens. many or outraged by the details contained in what's called the panama papers. >> translator: the g-20 delegates who will be talking about ways to prevent tax evasion when they meet this week in washington.
from the beginning, japan has taken a leading role in the debate on this issue. and we'll continue to do so. >> aso mentioned an initiative that requires authorities in some countries to share details about financial accounts of nonresidents. he wants developing nations to get on board. tokyo shares saw a rebound closing at a one week high. for details we go to the tokyo stock exchange. >> reporter: shares in tokyo ro rose. crude oil prices gained ahead of a meeting of major producers. the nikkei average added 1.1% finishing at 15,928 and that's the highest close since april 4th. the topix was up 1.5%. bargain hunters bought beaten down banking shares that saw the
lights of mitsubishi up 6%. shinsei bank rose 7%. the financial sector saw some of the strongest gains today. the dollar/yen returned to the 108 level during tokyo trading hours. japan display, the auto parts maker added 5.8%, toyota added 3.9%. many investors will be watching to see how the data affects the markets. let's look at china. the shanghai composite declined bio.34%. many investors stayed on the sidelines before the release of key economic data including the gdp.
taiwan, dropping by a third of 1%. 8531 is the closing number there. the latest data on monday showed that exports in march dropped more than 11% from a year ago. that's worse than many analysts had expected. moving on the hong kong, hang seng index gaining by a third of 1%. indonesia up by .9 of 1%. investors shared news government plans to cut government tax rates. shares in sidney climbing .9 of 1%. resource related shares were hire as iron ore prices rose. executives at japan's biggest brokerage said volatile financial markets has forced them to make tough decisions. they say they plan to cutback on operations at their u.s. and european branches. officials at the firm say nothing is firm but up to 1,000 jobs could go.
there was a big push overseas in 2008 when it acquired some operations of lehman brothers which went under in the global financial crisis but in recent years its overseas arm has been operating at a loss. here are the other business stories we're following. officials in japan and germany are expected to work together on a technology that's going to change the way we live. they are said to be preparing jointly developing standards that would lift physical objects to talk to each other over the internet. experts say the technology will enable all devices to collect and share data drastically boosting productivity and efficiency. the bank of japan says march commercial banks and credit unions had an average $4.6 trillion loan outstanding up from 2% making it the smallest
increase in two years. three major japanese department stores have reportedly had an increase in sales through february. they credit strong spend big foreign visitors and brisk sales of high end goods. j. front retailing says sales were up more than 1%. takashimaya enjoyed an crease of up almost 2%. officials in tokyo will try a new range of ferry service as they gear up to host the 2020 olympics and paralympics. they are planning to test services on four new routes over a five month period. one of the routes will link honada airport to popular tourist destinations. when sanctions were taking
place against iron, most companies left. but now sanks sanctions have be lifted, companies are rushing to go back. >> reporter: this president of a leading japanese paint maker is ready to make a move. he's told his executives to prepare for a return to iran. they earn 60% of its sales in foreign markets. car coating is the pillar of its revenues. more than 1 million vehicles are built and sold in iran every year, making it one of the largest auto markets in the world. foreign paints is seen as high quality and demand is expected to take off. his company used to operate a factory in iran. it cost $4.4 million to set up. when the sanctions were imposed it sold the plant to a local firm. he asked the new operator to
continue using the brand name and offered material support right up until the sanctions took effect. he's hoping his efforts to maintain ties since then have paid off. he's visiting iran's number two automaker, straight way he sees he has got work to do. >> translator: the makers names are printsed on the lower part of the paint. >> reporter: he sees the name of a rival german company. he also spots the logos of south korean and chinese paint makers. >> translator: sanctions are over, so the competition has already begun. >> reporter: it's a setback but he presses on. he arranges a meeting with iranan's top automaker. they seem interested but there's a condition.
>> we want to buy materialals. >> reporter: iran's government is keen to create jobs. foreign investors are being asked to build plants in the country. this man is unphased. he wanted t to boost production. >> we have policemen of space to expand. since the sanctions are lifted we can provide more support. > reporter: the iranian side seems to appreciate the quick positive response. >> again, thank you for your helping and your intention and i hope that we have good cooperation in the near future. >> reporter: he has won a deal to supply car paint. >> translator: i am so happy that our prolonged efforts were finally recognized by the iranian company.
the fukushima daiichi plant dealt a blow to tourism, a drop of millions of visitors. the numbers are gradually recovering, however. we go to one of the most popular spots. i hear it's a good time to be there. >> reporter: this is one of the best times of the year to be here. why? because of the cherry blossoms. they are especially stunning when the subtle lights are turned on after sunset. i'm about 35 kilometers from the daiichi nuclear plants. tourism dropped dramatically. local government officials have been working hard to highlight and advertise the places to visit, the safety of the food, the level of radiation around here and that's helped to bring people from outside fukushima to
this place and to this shrine more visitors have been coming since the disaster than before. many choose to come at night. why? because of the many attractions here. for example these bamboo lights. they light up the stairs and the design was thought up by the staff of the shrine themselves. they had local residents help to create them. now once we pass the lanterns we come to the gateway to the shrine. and the most famous scene at the shrine ground, the weeping cherry tree. the flowers last ten days. we're here at a very magical moment. the light up is only until today, but the lure is that people want to come back again next year to actually see the sight for themselves once again.
but, of course, the shrine is only one of many places that fukushima residents are proud of. they hope tourists will spread the word the name fukushima shouldn't be linked to that unfortunate accident of five years ago but evoke the wonders that this place has to offer. hauntsingly romantic. thanks for that report. the weather is fair with a temperature reading of 8 degrees so 46 degrees fahrenheit. here in tokyo it's 13 degrees celsius and overjaft. jonathan oh join us with the latest on parched conditions in southeast asia. >> well, because of the change there taking place, they starting to drawback o on the amount of water usage and they're being very careful in terms of the amount of activity taking outdoors because of the heat that t has realally been slamming the area. i mean, look at the satellite perspective.
it is clear all over india and most of the peninsula toward the east also completely clear. when you have sunny skies like this with no rain over a prolonged period of time, it starts to have an impact. in fact, i it's having an n imp on one of the well-known festivals in thailand. let me show some video that came out of the area on monday where the water festival of this year kicked off monday. the high was 41.1 degrees celsius. this festival celebrates the traditional thai new year. the elephants, painted with flowers of slurping of water and spraying it on people. that's the tradition with this festival. but, because of the ongoing drought condition, the government has asked organizers of the annual festival to reduce the amount being used. the elephant tried not to waste too much water. training these animals to take smaller amounts of water and spraying it at a specific target. the water festival normally takes place april 13th through the 15th. and on top of the fact that they
are taking those measures, the festival is shortened from four days to three days because of the wateter concncerns. and, as we look forward into the forecast, we're staying dry for a good portion of the area all the way from india into a portion of thailand, even into vietnam and cambodia. you're looking at dry weather and hot weather at that. look at these highs coming up on wednesday, 40s along the eastern side of india over into places like chiang mai. 30 degrees there and very warm temperatures towards the south and east, as well. so please, take care of your health and also be very conscious of the water situation as you go throughout the day. now, we're seeing clouds trying to move into japan as we look at the forecast here. we do have high pressure moving out of the area. southerly flow coming back into the picture. so, we're going to see some moisture introduduced and thatas gogoing to leato some cloud cover. maybybe showers as another s sy moves into japan.
here is a look at the forecast. you'll need your umbrellas wednesday through thursday. tokyo looking at temperatures topping up at 20 on thursday and drier on friday with some sunshine coming back into the forecast. now, we have some very unstable weather to talk about as we look at the forecast for europe. we do have a low pressure system really intensifying itself off the iberian peninsula. this is moving towards the east. and that's going to bring some instability, maybe dealing with strong thunderstorms with some heavy rainfall in the picture. i also want to point out, we have another low north into turkey, but north of there, moisture will be moving into the picture and that's going to bring some rains. so tuesday, paris into lisbon, all looking at wet weather. warsaw also into kiev, looking at some precipitation on tuesday. wrapping things up with a look at north america, we're keeping an eye on this low pressure system. has a history of causing some problems in the southern plains. heavy rainfall taking place. on monday, more rainfall. heavy one at that as we go
>> it is 1:00 p.m. in paris. thank you for being with us on "france 24." i am melissa bell. rousseffines -- dilma moves a step closer to impeachment after a parliamentary committee votes in far. the house will vote on whether the brazilian president should be impeached for having manipulated government accounts to hide the country's deficit. the european union plans to unveil